Saturday, 28 January 2012

No pain, no gain... or loss!

I am lazy.

Don't get me wrong- I have a strong work ethic, will always try my best and will do anything for anyone in need- but when it comes to getting my butt off of the sofa in my free time?   Hmmm... maybe later.  I am overweight- not dangerously so, but my BMI is not in the healthy range!  I'm fairly happy with the way I look.  We'd all like to change something about ourselves, if I could click my fingers and drop a few dress sizes I absolutely would- but that's just it... it doesn't work like that!

I work hard all week- long hours, busy days and whilst I may not be on a building site doing physical work all day long, I often leave the office tired but satisfied that I have earned my salary.  Mr T and I usually make it home around 8pm from Brentwood.  Officially we finish at 5.30pm, however this is rarely the case- but we don't begrudge the extra hours to get a job done well.  By the time we make it home, the sofa calls... feet up, tv on, dinner and a chat and before we know it we're both nodding off.  When the weekends arrive we'll often eat out together- this is something we love to do and look forward to.  The goblins arrive and we go out and about but they also spend a fair amount on time on games consoles so we find ourselves back on the sofa.  We have pretty much had this routine since we got together, so fast forward 3 or so years and here we are... not overly fit or healthy- but very happy.

My Dad is training for a sponsored walk.  Not your usual potter along the seafront- he's signed himself up for a gruelling 40 mile uphill hike- see his blog for details (  He started training 3 weeks ago.  I realise that I need to be healthier and set an example to the goblins as well as for my own sake... so I joined him.  We walk as fast as is sustainable and we head for every available uphill climb.  Not only is it nice to spend time with the old man, but it gives me the much needed push I need to get my lazy arse in motion!  We have been out for 3 consecutive Saturday trecks now- the first, 8.5 miles, the second 12.5 miles and today a little over 8 miles.  My Dad is fit and healthy and has always been active- I am very proud of him.  He has helped many in his lifetime to achieve their fitness goals, best known for his martial arts skills, kick-arse sensei and general all-round bloody nice bloke.  He visits the gym daily and follows a sensible fitness regime to keep him in good health.  This man is my hero and I aspire to be like him in so many ways.  His enthusiasm and determination have managed to drag me out of bed and out into the cold bright and early every Saturday morning to get my blood pumping, muscles aching and fresh air in my lungs.  The thought of 12 miles of pain is enough for me to dive into a packet of crisps or a cosy warm bed- but the thought of making my Pa proud sees me reaching for a banana and heading out the door to train.

If I can do it, anyone can- as I said before, I am lazy- no denial here!  If I manage to drop a few dress sizes in time, fantastic.  All the more so because I'll know I've worked for it rather than just starved for it.  It hurts, but in a healthy 'used muscles' way.  It feels good to have achieved something every week, no matter how tired or run down I feel and now when I do sit on the sofa I don't feel guilt, it feels deserved!

Little things can make such a difference.  If you can, walk instead of drive.  Carry those bits upstairs now, don't pile them all up for later.  Take the stairs two at a time.  Switch off the tv and take a stroll.  Get some music on and dance! Anything to get that heart rate up, just little but often can make a difference and now is so much easier than later.

No pain- no gain!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Beauty... skin deep?

I am 27 years old.  Until about 3 years ago, I have always felt uncomfortable in my own skin.  As a child, I was slim, energetic, bright- but painfully shy.  I had a problem with my front teeth so I was too afraid to smile.  I hated talking to grown-ups and I didn't easily make friends, always too afraid to join in.  Nothing my parents did could change it, it's just the way I was made.  I grew into an awkward teenager, although I had plenty of friends by then I never felt I 'belonged'.  Food was my enemy and for a few scary years I battled with some serious issues, starving myself of the nutrients my body needed to grow healthily in an effort to be thinner, to fit in.  I can remember my Mum saying, as she force fed me chinese food, "you may hate me now, but you'll thank me years from now when you're still alive".  Mum- you were so right, thank you.  I owe you my life in so many ways!

In my late teens I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease.  For those unfamiliar with this illness, it is a bowel disease, incurable, but treatable with ongoing medication.  It was very debilitating for a number of years, making my A-levels almost impossible to sit and rendering me housebound.  My friends and family were amazing, I was never alone and slowly but surely, with a cocktail of medication helped me back to health. I lost so much weight with this illness, the former me would've been proud- but looking in the mirror was painful.  I looked ill.  I was bony and pale and my skin was sore and broken, my hair falling out.  It took a long time to rebuild my self-esteem to it's previous already low level and get back out there to live a 'normal' life.
Today- I am healthy.  My Crohn's has now been in remission for a year- the future is looking bright.  I have put on more weight than I should over the last few years, my skin has good and bad days much like the rest of the female population.  I have fat days, bad hair days, 'I have nothing to wear!' days- but everyday I feel content with me.  My husband is a big part of this- he appreciates me just the way I am, as I do him, and every day he makes me feel special and loved.  I finally feel comfortable in my own skin, with who I am.  i sing with a band- don't get me wrong, I see and hear the talent of my band mates and I'm envious... but I also give myself a pat on the back and say, 'You know what? You're up there doing it.  Give yourself a break, you're doing ok'.  I'm no longer afraid to get up and sing my heart out for all to hear.  I choose clothes that flatter my shape, because for now, this is how I look so I'm going to make the most of it.  I may have a big bum, but my boobs are fab!  I have tattoos- more than the average lady, but each one of them means something to me- has a happy memory attached and I love them- no matter what other people may think.  They make me feel beautiful when I'm doubting myself and feeling 'plain'.

Love yourself, so others can.  Appreciate the good bits, don't dwell on the negatives.  You can be and do whatever you want to- don't be put down. 

Please leave me a comment- what makes you feel good about yourself?  It's ok to say it out loud! x